New Year’s Resolutions that Stick, Part 1

by Steve Prager on January 1, 2011


11 Ways to Make New Year’s Resolutions that Stick, Part 1

How do you make New Year’s resolutions that stick? Great question. I polled my Face Book friends about this and some said… “Don’t do it” or “Just lie to yourself.” The rest of the feedback from my network was about the same. NYRs don’t have a great track record. People are jaded. Been there, done that- doesn’t work.

New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday ~ C.Lamb

Call me crazy- but I relish the chance to start over every January 1st. Like some Phoenix rising from the ashes, I feel a surge of optimism as I plan another total makeover of Steve Inc. In my endorphin induced haze, the sky’s the limit. My mental list runs a mile long and I buy all the exercise outfits, diet books and gym memberships I can squeeze on my credit card.

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other ~ unknown

Skip forward a month- my results have usually sucked. What looked like child’s play in January has been forgotten and left in the trash bin of my hippocampus by February 1st (What was that I was going to do? Oh yeah,..lose weight.)

However, Something new happened this past summer. I quit talking and started DOING. I got up off the couch, turned off the TV, and performed some radical CPR on some old dreams. I learned some things about goals, goal setting and seeing results. Start.Do.Now was born.

Since my epiphany, I’ve done a lot of research in anticipation of New Year’s Day and all those resolutions I knew I would make. And, I thought maybe you would want to join in too. Get your feet wet. Do some goal setting. Make changes.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right ~Oprah Winfrey

I wondered………….what tips and tricks could we use to stick to our New Year’s resolutions?

And…………………….what techniques do successful goal setters use to follow through to victory?

Well, as the old preacher said once, “…I haven’t arrived, but I’VE LEFT!”

Here are 11 ways to make your New Year’s Resolutions Stick. Part 1

… Try these tips for better NYRs

Be Specific- Start with the end in mine. Instead of ‘I’ll lose some weight’, decide you’ll lose 15 pounds and look great for the upcoming class reunion. Being specific keeps you from getting sidetracked.

Start Small-  Break your bigger goals down into smaller, bite size ‘minis’. For example, instead of a goal of saving $200 a month, why not start with $20? As you meet smaller goals, you’ll gain the confidence and experience needed to tackle bigger projects. “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

Use Deadlines and Time tables- We’re all capable of extraordinary results when we HAVE to get something done by a certain time or else. Remember those caffeine fueled all-nighters you pulled to rescue that term paper?  Set close deadlines for mini-goals. Ex. ‘I’ll walk for an hour everyday at 5 pm and lose 10 pounds by March 1st.’ Use timetables to manage bigger goals with longer shelf lives-‘I’ll have Chapter 1 written by February, Chapter 2 finished by Valentine’s Day, etc.

Write the Vision- “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Hab. 2:2 Write down everything you want to accomplish this year, big and small. Writing down your goals helps you focus, make priorities and commit to the idea of seeing them through. Plus, putting your goals down on paper will help you organize them into sub groups of mini-goals.

Get a Buddy- It’s VERY important to find a buddy who will encourage you, keep you on track and call you on BS. The power and synergy of two people working on the same goal is amazing.  I have several great friends who hold me accountable to my goals. Don’t skip this step! Buddies are also great for filling in the inevitable knowledge gap we experience as we progress through a goal.

Well, that’s enough for Part 1.

What do you think?

What have I missed? What steps, tricks and techniques have you used to stick to a New Year’s resolution?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Powers January 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm

All terrific ideas, Steve! Some of my faves . . . being super specific about the goal, setting (sometimes ridiculously short-term) deadlines for myself, and telling a friend [who I know will get on my case & hold me accountable] about it. Thanks for the list, and Happy New Year to you!
Mark Powers recently posted..A Year In The Life 2010 Review


Steve Prager January 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Mark…..great point! You’ve distilled the essence that will help me. I sometimes get too many goal irons in the fire and I get sidetracked.

Hey,..everybody..Check Mark out!


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